All of us at Oceana would like to wish our readers, ocean activists and Wavemakers a Merry Christmas and happy holiday season! While we take time to slow down and reflect over the holidays, we want to express our gratitude for our ocean activists’ dedication and passion. We could not create positive change for our oceans without your help!
Australia’s Christmas Island—located south of Indonesia in the Indian Ocean—is named for the day of its discovery in 1643. But, if you’re familiar with the incredible natural phenomenon that occurs there around this time of year, you may have thought the island was aptly named for the sea of red that blankets the island each year around Christmas time.
Editor’s Note: In light of the holidays, this is the last ocean news round-up to be published over the next week. In the meantime, please check our Twitter channel for ocean updates. Happy holidays!
Some marine animals don’t have to put any effort into celebrating the holiday season, and instead, celebrate this special time all year long. With the holiday season in full swing, we’re spotlighting two small marine animals that are aptly named for their resemblance to two different holiday symbols: the Christmas tree worm and candy cane shrimp.
- Chevron has withdrawn its plans for oil drilling in the Beaufort Sea because of “economic uncertainty” and low oil prices. Chevron sent a letter to Canada’s National Energy Board earlier this week, saying it was cancelling plans to drill about 155 miles northwest of Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories. Reuters
Apart from their massive size, humpback whales are most known for their extensive, complex “songs” that male humpbacks use for communication. But, humpback whales also have some fascinating feeding behaviors that are also worthy of attention—particularly bubble-netting.
- A federal report released this week found that temperatures in the Arctic are warming at twice the rate of those in lower latitudes. The report also discussed how these temperature and sea ice changes are negatively impacting polar bear populations and fish migrations. The Washington Post
- European Union fishery ministers reached agreements on commercial catch regulations for 2015, allowing for increased catches in cod, prawns, plaice, haddock, and more in certain areas. Many conservationists are criticizing the decision, saying it defied scientific advice to decrease many of these catches. The Guardian
Today, President Obama’s Task Force on Combating Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud delivered its first recommendations for tackling this issue, which included domestic and international measures to help ensure that seafood sold in the United States is safe, legally caught, and honestly labeled. Oceana commends the recommendations and says they are a real step forward for fighting illegal fishing and seafood fraud in the U.S. and around the world.
- Today, President Obama’s designated Task Force on tackling seafood fraud released their first set of recommendations for eliminating the issue. While many conservationists are hailing the recommendations—such as instilling better enforcement and encouraging collaboration among organizations—as a positive first step, they say there is still much work to be done. National Geographic